Berwin Leighton Paisner
UK 200 position: 15
Turnover at Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) rose by a healthy 8 per cent in 2011–12, from £228.4m to £246m. But net profit rose less than 1 per cent to £63.6m. The effectively flat profit number comes off the back of a heavy year of investment in which the firm opened two offices in Germany and one in Hong Kong, and continued its strategy of hiring as many magic circle partners as possible.
As an example of the latter strategy, BLP hired magic circle M&A veterans David Barnes and Alan Paul — at £800,000 a piece — to add gravitas to the firm’s corporate offering.
In addition to its new offices and partners, BLP also invested heavily in IT and accounting systems. The firm also voted to spin off its interim lawyers service, Lawyers on Demand, into a separate company while maintaining an 80 per cent stake.
Eisenberg said the firm would continue to look at investing in new partners in the coming year, but that BLP’s focus for the 2012-13 financial year would be primarily on integrating the previous year’s investments. Propositions for additional offices in 2012–13 would “really have to knock [management’s] socks off” before it was considered, according to Eisenberg.
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Turnover (£m): 246
Total lawyers: 637